Title: Pins and Needles
Author: A.J. Thomas
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: August 25, 2017
Page Count: 300
Reviewed by: Kristin
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
After a devastating accident and a long stay in the hospital, the last thing petroleum engineer Sean Wilkinson wants to deal with is the settlement the oil company tries to force on him. He’ll never be able to work in his field again, his education is all but useless, and his surgeons are pessimistic about whether he’ll ever walk again. He needs someone in his corner, but most lawyers take one look at his tattoo-covered foster father and turn their backs. It’s just Sean’s luck that the one attorney willing to give him a chance is also the hottest guy he’s ever seen.
As a trial lawyer, Nate Delany has a lot to prove—to his father, the world, and himself. Sean intrigues Nate, and he struggles to reconcile the gifted tattoo artist he can’t stop fantasizing about with the quiet, brilliant engineer. His investigation reveals facts left out of the accident report—including an illicit affair, greedy coworkers, and a vicious corporation that will do anything to protect its bottom line. When Sean’s life is threatened, winning Sean’s case, and his heart, becomes a lot more dangerous.
Book blurb sums up the plot fairly well so I won’t rehash.
This is about two men from disparate lives, each struggling with their own challenges. For Sean, it’s overcoming a horrific, life changing injury. For Nate, it’s finding the strength to step out from under his father’s expectations and be his own person. What the two find is each other.
What I found was an engaging and interesting story. The strength of this book lies in a strong plot and well defined characters and sub-characters. I liked how dynamic Sean was – engineer and tattoo artist, pencil and notebook always in hand, striving to do better at everything. I enjoyed Nate’s directness and knowing under the “Ken doll” looks, he has his own insecurities. Hawk was a great supporting character, solid and dependable. Tonya a good friend without sliding over into “gotta know it all bestie”.
A couple of places I struggled a bit – I found it implausible that in a city the size of Houston (and the surrounding area) that ONE lawyer (Nate’s father) could be intimidating to the point nobody wanted to work with Nate. Houston has a population of 2.3 MILLION. Yeah. Don’t think so.
I was on the fence about the ‘misunderstanding’ – Sean thought Nate was rebuffing him because of his injury. Nate knew he was stepping over a line from client to something more and violating all sorts of ethical laws. It wasn’t a big misunderstanding, as far as these things go, but would Sean really NOT see that dating Nate, while Nate was representing him, caused all sorts of ethical dilemmas?
And would Nate, as much of a hot shot lawyer as he was portrayed to be, really do that to screw up his career so fast? Yeah yeah, without that bit there wouldn’t have been a story. Still…I ask these sort of strange questions.
In my humble opinion, the ending became a bit rushed and garbled. There was excellent plot build-up, solid character building, then it seemed a whole bunch of established foundations were undone as everything barreled to the conclusion. I still enjoyed the story, but was left feeling a bit perplexed.
Ultimately, I was kept engaged, the characters were interesting, and the pace of the romance was realistic. I would read more by this author.